Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Continental Divide, Hoosier Pass, Alma, and South Park Colorado



A few posts ago I took you for a photo tour ride with me on Interstate 70 from our home in the foothills in Colorado up to the ski resort area of Breckenridge-click here to read that post. Today I will take you a different, more scenic, less traffic route my husband and I like to take on our return to our home.  We begin by traveling on State Highway 9, picking it up in Breckenridge.


Just look at the view!


It passes over the Hoosier Pass, elevation 11,539 feet, where we also pass over the Continental Divide, which divides how water flows from the mountains--on the East towards the Atlantic Ocean and West towards the Pacific Ocean.



Double click on the photo above to enlarge it in order to read some history about Hoosier Pass. You can also read about its earlier history as a Ute Indian route on this History Colorado page



Some informational placards at the pass parking area about the White River area. As you can see this area gets lots of snow in winter!




Some views of the mountain peaks from the pass





Driving on, we pass through, Alma, North America's highest incorporated town at an altitude of 10,578 feet.  Founded in 1873, it's population is 275 people.


It is a tiny town surrounded by old gold and silver mines, bristlecone pine trees and five fourteen thousand foot high mountains: Mt. Sherman (14,007 feet), Mt. Bross (14,172 feet), Mt. Democrat (14,148 feet), and Mt. Cameron (14,238 feet). You can read about the history of this once bustling mining area on the town's web page.


A view of some of those 14 thousand foot high mountains!



Soon, we could see US Route 285 in the distance--we would be taking this road a good portion of the way home.



Route 285 passes through the town of Fairplay and the historic South Park City site, then reaches its highest elevation of 10,051 feet at the summit of Red Pass.




The South Park Basin always amazes me! 




This flat, grassland basin has an elevation of almost 10,000 feet!  You can see how it is rimmed by the Rocky Mountains in all directions. In 2009, South Park and the area around Fairplay were designated a National Heritage Area by the US Congress for its distinctive landscapes. historic structures, and recreational resources. This area is also known as the Trout Fishing Capital of Colorado, full of gold medal streams and rivers.




There are many large ranches in the basin and we could see cattle grazing where the wind had blown away the snow.




US 285 then leaves the South Park basin and climbs over Kenosha Pass, elevation 10,001 feet.




It then passes the south side of Mount Evans as it descends its way through the foothills range towards Denver.




Along the way, near the town of Bailey we passed the Coney Island Boardwalk hot dog stand!  What an unexpected sight--it gave this Brooklyn, NY girl a pang of nostalgia. We stopped to see if they were open, but unfortunately they were still closed for the season.  We will definitely go back one day this summer!




We soon passed by some beautiful homes in the foothills in the town of Morrison......



....and past the colorful "Dinosaur Ridge" area.

We now enter Colorado State Highway 470 east, and head home.



Whenever I see this little red barn along the highway I know we are close to home.  I hope you enjoyed viewing the trip we take when we go up into the higher elevations of Colorado and all the beautiful sights along the way!


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41 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Pat, what a scenic ride. The mountain views are gorgeous. I hope to visit the Rocky Mountain Nat'l park someday with my hubby.. I will remember your images. Thanks for sharing your trip. Have a happy week!

podso said...

That's a beautiful red barn! The photos are all so gorgeous, thanks for taking us along on the ride and the time it took to post all the photos. It was lovely to see them all. Hope you have a good week.

Inge said...

Thank you for sharing - Love them. Can not wait to see more. Have a great week ahead, Inge

ellen b. said...

Thanks for taking me along on your trip! How fun to see that Coney Island Boardwalk hot dog stand! Sorry they were closed...

AdriBarr said...

Each time you post,Pat I am just struck by the grandeur and beauty. Thanks for the glorious tour!

Daniela said...

May I say that every time I come and visit you I feel surprised for the gorgeous images you always share ?
The landscapes of your Colorado are really gorgeous and this ride was wonderful, believe me, thank you for the emotions you always give to me as gift my dear Pat !
I wish you a lovely Sunday and new week ahead xox
Dany

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You take amazing photos and have such grand views! I am amazed at the beauty of those mountains. And how neat to see the amount of snow change as you go to the different elevations. Beautiful my friend! Hugs!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Very pretty Pat! I love the hot dog stand, bet it's a fun place to visit:@)

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

These scenic photos are so enjoyable to view and visit... just lovely! :)

Vee said...

Splendid views! Lots of snow yet in the mountains. How many markers are there for The Continental Divide? Must be a great many. Bummer that you must wait for summer to have a Cony Island hot dog. =D

Michelle said...

Colorado is such a beautiful state. I have always enjoyed my visits there!

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Pat;
OMG; what a GORGEOUS trip you had!!!
Thank you very much for the scenic ride enjoying "The mountain views and all" with your wonderful pictures♡♡♡

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Colorado is very picturesque~!
I would love to live with a view of the mountains like that!

Lorrie said...

Fantastic vistas along your drive. Last summer we visited the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies. Amazing to think how far the water flows to the sea.
Have a great week, Pat.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Love all the mountain views! I just pulled out the atlas to follow your route. One can always learn something over here when we visit! Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

How very beautiful. I love the roads and the mountains. Looks like a wonderful place to visit someday in the winter months.

Tracy said...

LOVE that top photo, Pat--WOW! Something about those long, dark shadows across the road, and then the brightness of the snow and sky. As always, it's so much fun to see where you visit, taking us along with you. And I learn so much! Thank you. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Lina Gustina said...

Wow, so many awesome views here.
Thanks for sharing your trip.
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SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous blue sky.

I can understand how that hot dog stand would get your heart thumpin'.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

pam said...

We love to stop at the Coney Island Boardwalk. Lovely tour to start my week.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You surely love in a beautiful area Pat. I had to chuckle when I saw that Coney Island hot dog place. Go back and report on the hot dogs there.

Ida said...

Wow so many gorgeous photos here. The scenery was just stunning. It's always fun to spot a familiar landmark when nearing home isn't it.

Mersad said...

Wow, these images are exceptional. They really transferred me and I felt like I was on the mountain journey as well. So happy to have discovered your blog through Blue Monday, following now (and hey I'm your 700th follower :) Hope to see you on my photo blog as well. Take care. Looking forward to future visits.

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Jim said...

Magic.

ladyfi said...

What majestic scenery!

Kalantikan said...

Yes i enjoyed it so much, moreso because i will never be able to pass or see it in this lifetime. But i feel cold even just looking at that expanse of ice or snow. Thank you so much. I can't imagine how people conquer these wilderness!

jeannettestgermain said...

Spent twice a week in Colorado - the mountains and views are worth the trip! Beautiful and so much space!

Fun60 said...

I could just lose myself gazing at those mountain views. What a beautiful scenic route.

gracie1961 said...

You know, when I think about US I think usually about NYC, Boston, LA, Chicago....maybe the Grand Canyon. My husband always think about scenaries like these....he devoured your pics like mad...

edenhills said...

So beautiful! I just love seeing the mountains through your lens.

Shey Wicklund said...

Interesting towns and gorgeous photos of the majestic mountains.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You definitely moved to the state that has the most stunning scenery and -- your photography is awe inspiring. Thanks for sharing this beautiful state (and for the memories).

The Gathering Place said...

Once again you shared some breath-taking photos. I would love to explore some of those old mining towns. We have Park City, which is a fun place, too. Nothing is more beautiful than the rugged mountain passes!

Joe Todd said...

Spectacular photos and post. Thanks so much for the road trip

backroadjournal said...

You certainly do have stunning views no matter which direction you travel. Just beautiful.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat, Do you know that I found your blog several years ago when I was googling Coney Island, and your post came up. I was instantly hooked, of course, and I still look for NYC info here! Now I am more anxious than ever for my hubby to retire so we can travel west and see all these wonderful sites. You make it all so appealing and beautiful! Thank you for all the efforts you put in to these posts. Linda

The Tablescaper said...

I never knew there was a town called Alma!

- Alma, The Tablescaper

La Petite Gallery said...

Thanks for this tour. You really have some beautiful views. That was so funny to see the Hot dog stand.
I bet it did bring back memories. yvonne

Mary Lee said...

You are certainly an out-and-about woman! I thought the grandchildren might slow you down a bit. I love your travels though.

When we go to the NC mountains, we cross the Eastern Continental Divide. The roads are so winding, sometimes we cross it more than once on the same road.

gracie1961 said...

Beautiful landscapes

diane b said...

Both summer and winter scenes are fabulous but I would prefer the summer temperatures.